Ishrat case: Pillai ‘approved’ second affidavit changes by Chidambaram

  • Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 03, 2016 00:54 IST
Ishrat Jahan, a suspected operative of Lashkar-e-Taiba. and three others were killed in 2004 in an alleged fake encounter with Gujarat police. (PTI File Photo )

Former home secretary GK Pillai, who accused erstwhile boss P Chidambaram of rewriting an affidavit in the Ishrat Jehan case, didn’t disagree or record his dissent when the Congress leader as home minister sent him the amended document for filing in court.

Contents of a 2009 file on the sworn statement, reviewed by HT, show a brief typed note by Pillai from September 23 saying the “further” affidavit of the home ministry had been vetted by the attorney general.

Chidambaram then said in a handwritten note, “As amended. Please show clear copy in the morning before it is sent to the court.”

The next noting is from Pillai on September 24, saying a copy had been shown to the HM (home minister) and a copy was to be sent to the “law secretary/attorney general”.

Neither did Pillai demonstrate any dissent for not being consulted, nor did he raise objections about the amended affidavit sent to him by Chidambaram, the file shows.

Ishrat Jehan was killed along with three others in 2004 near Ahmedabad in an alleged staged shootout by police officers who claimed that she was part of a plot to assassinate then chief minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP has used Pillai’s remarks to allege that Chidambaram amended the document to suit his party’s view that Jehan was innocent and was killed on the orders of the Gujarat government. Pillai was not available for comments. But in TV interviews he raised questions about the second affidavit. “It is clear that Pillai didn’t object to the second affidavit, but he was not a party to it either,” said a senior government official requesting anonymity.

Chidambaram said the revised affidavit was “absolutely correct”.

The NDA government is exploring its options now, sources said.

The affidavit reached RVS Mani, an undersecretary in the home ministry, who filed it in court on September 30, 2009. Mani had also submitted the first affidavit in the Ishrat Jehan case. He told reporters that he drafted the first document but not the second one.

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